Frustrating to say the least.
In episode 6 Afterlost tries really hard to build a solid emotional climax with the older brother being one of the ghost things and being used by Souma before being ordered to kill his younger brother. Of course the power of love prevails, the artefact controlling him erased and then we get a touching brother flashback before older brother disappears.
The problem is that Afterlost hasn’t really earned this emotional moment it is aiming for. In fact, not even close. Souma isn’t much of an antagonist and we don’t really know how or why the artefacts work or the impact on the Tama-shi ghost things of being called or used. The younger brother, the magician, we barely met, and the few glimpses of back-story weren’t enough to build any kind of connection with either of these characters. Likewise the rest of the crew that were for some reason still involved.
With the main pair being more or less sidelined during this particular fight there’s no connection for the audience with the events. We still don’t know how this plays into the larger story or even if it does and honestly, watching Yuki crying and screaming as Akira is skewered by icicles just left me unmoved and mostly impatient for them to end this fairly pointless encounter on the roof and actually get around to something resembling plot at some point.
This anime is apparently 12 episodes long and we’ve now burned through half of them but it barely feels like we are at the end of a second episode in terms of things we actually know. Fair enough if the characters are interesting or compelling in their own way but I couldn’t honestly say that I even remember all the character’s names having to look them back up each week just to review the show. Other than that, my knowledge of each one would fit in a very short dot-point list and it wouldn’t be overly interesting reading.
So with no clear plot connection and no character connection, episode 6 of Afterlost rings hollow. The story of two brothers torn apart by the lost, more signs of conspiracy given someone clearly sent the older brother into the path of the disaster, and mysterious power boosting artefacts aren’t enough to make this compelling viewing and that is definitely a problem.
Takuya, the magician guy, and some random detective that we met a couple of episodes ago are now visiting an academy looking for clues to connect to the agency. This is all so far removed at this point from the original get Yuki into Lost to find her father that I’m struggling to care at this point about the intrigues and conspiracies. I’m sure it is all very clever but they’ve given me no reason to believe it is important.
Part of the issue is the agency is still completely without any kind of stated goal or intent. We’ve seen a few faces of the agency, and even those who might be in charge, but there’s no actual motive which makes them difficult to really feel anything for or about. There isn’t even an implied motive other than ‘science’ which is really becoming a lame excuse for people to act irrationally in the pursuit of some kind of knowledge in a Frankenstein/Prometheus cautionary tale kind of way.
Sorry, that rant was probably directed at a number of other movies and shows I’ve watched where the actions of characters have been equally inscrutable and then the plot has summed it up as a desire for some knowledge as if that makes all the craziness in any way logical.
Why it particularly rankles here is we’re moving at a snail’s pace to nowhere. At the least, Takuya does mention to Yuki at the end that there’s something he wants to do before taking her to Lost, but that’s the first time he’s even mentioned trying to get back to Lost with her in episodes. Why he suddenly feels the need to apologies for putting off something he’s been putting off for a fair while is not addressed.
Much like with the idol group earlier, we meet a group of people who were caught in Lost who are trapped in some kind of memory. Just like the idol group, while this does give us some more information about the agency and the conspiracy, it just doesn’t feel like it needed a whole episode and I couldn’t really connect or care about the characters we only just met when we already knew they wouldn’t be hanging around.
Afterlost continues to be a frustrating watch as I do actually want to know what happened but the story is taking the slowest and least interesting path to get to that revelation.
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